Yesterday, 19 February 2015, took place the opening ceremony of MEU programme (Model European Union). All the MEU participants were introduced to the topics that were going to be discussed and were given a quick overview of it. The first was the regulation about the data protection (GDPR) and the second, which was extensively debated, was the directive of improving gender balance on company boards. Ulrike Lunacek, head of delegation of the Austrian Greens in the E.P., Angelika Mlinar, member of the group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe and Stephen Schnöll, head of the International Commission of Junge ÖVP were the three politicians that were invited to offer a panel discussion on the second topic regarding gender balance on company boards.
Concisely the two women were for the proposal of introducing the quota directive, which sets a quantative goal of at least 40% representation of each gender on decision-making positions.Stephen Schnöll was opposed to such a measure, which forces companies to achieve a minimum female representation and was instead in favour of incentivising them to do so. He objects to sanctions-imposing as a consequence of not fulfilling the directive standards, something that Ulrike Lunacek and Angelika Mlinar interprete as an indirect punishment of women.
Basically both sides were unanimous about promoting gender equality but they did not agree on the ways enhancing it. Angelika Mlinar criticised the society of still being patriarchal, which in turn has a negative impact on genders equality, while Stephen Schnöll, mentioning himself as an example, claimed that this was no longer the case. After the panel discussion followed a mock discussion among the E.P. and Commission regarding the threat of dragons for human life. It helped the participants to familiarize themselves with the amendment procedures and offered a quick introduction to the function of E.P. and Comission. The opening ceremony ended in a pleasant atmosphere with bagels and drinks, giving to participants the chance to socialize.
by Marsida Toska